Benteke shows up for pre-season training at Villa

Benteke trained with Paul Lambert’s first team on Thursday for the first time since handing in a transfer request to quell any fears that he could go on strike.


The Belgium international is a target for Tottenham Hotspur and has made it clear he wants to leave Villa Park but is understood to have had talks with Lambert, who is preparing for the season hopeful of retaining his £8 million signing.

Lambert is determined to keep his emerging squad together and Lowton is expected to sign a new four-year deal in the next few days, barely 12 months after his £3 million move from Sheffield United.

Ashley Westwood, Andreas Weimann, Brad Guzan, Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark have all committed their futures to Villa this summer and Lowton will become the latest highly-rated youngster to agree new terms.

Lowton, 24, was highlighted by Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff as a potential contender for a call-up to the England squad after finishing last season impressively, and Villa expect to conclude negotiations soon.

Villa will play a pre-season friendly against Wycombe on Saturday but Benteke is not expected to be involved after only returning from extended leave.